XC with Jonna

Day two of the clinic was cross country and we were in a large group with 5 other riders, all friends of ours. It was so nice to be out training with such a lovely, supportive bunch of people!

Our lesson was in the afternoon and the weather was really turning it on, it was 26C. It was a big temperature jump but I won’t complain as long as we get some more rain soon.

We started off at the water and Jonna has us test our aides in the water, having us do transitions in the water. If the transitions were light it meant that the horses really understood the question and the environment wasn’t overshadowing the training. Henrys were light and he was happy to do everything I asked him without any fuss.

We then added in a show jump landing in the water and that had Henry stumped. He spooked coming in but I held him on my line and he stopped straight to the fence. Jonna was pleased I held him on my line and so I let Henry sniff it before backing him up and trotting him over it, so he was never turned away from it. He was ok with it after that but not as confident as he is with dropping down into water. Something to note for the future.

Next Jonna had us jump over the show jump and then test how quickly we could turn in the water. Everyone was able to turn and come out near where we jumped in which meant that our horses we really listening to us and not worried about water.

We finished jumping a little course which Henry did great at. At this point he was not as relaxed as he had been, because there was a lot going on around us. There were riders playing polo on the polo field, horses galloping on the XC course and other riders using another part of the course and it was a lot of his little brain. He coped so much better than in the past though because we were still able to jump with him listening to me 100%.

We moved onto another part of the course, my nemesis ditch which Jonna has decided to call Bree’s ditch. I decided to walk Henry over the ditch first and while he hesitated and had a look at it, he jumped it first go. In fact he jumped it the best every time as all the other horses had a bit of a buck when they landed! Spring was definitely in the air.

We finished off by doing a small course, trotting over the ditch, then cantering through a coffin, over an oxer, coming around to the leaf pit and up over the wall. Henry nailed it, I really let him gallop and he was lovely and adjustable. He made short work of the larger fences and was confident through the coffin.

It was another very successful weekend and I think that Henry is one of Jonna’s favourites. I am feeling super pumped for our next event and like we have done all our homework!


  1. Henry really has matured so much lately. He is handling everything in stride.

    1. He really is, and it's so cool. I love experiencing all this stuff with him!

  2. Replies
    1. It's hard to remember he is still only 5 (nearly 6!) sometimes.

  3. oh man, that's a dubious distinction to have the ditch called after you haha ;) Henry is lookin good tho!

    1. I guess thats what happens when you fall in, good incentive to not fall in? Not like you need incentive to not fall off in the first place!


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